WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama didn’t have time to join a roast of prominent officials by the journalists who cover them, cracks Vice President Joe Biden, because Obama is getting ready for Easter. “He thinks it’s about him,” Biden says.
No, that’s not the reason, counters California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “He’s just not that into you.”
Obama may not be the messiah or even stuck-up, but he is the first president in decades to skip the Gridiron Club dinner during his first year in office. Instead, the president spent Saturday night at Camp David with his family, missing out on the 124th annual event in which journalists use jokes and songs to skewer politicians _ a few of whom get to throw back some jabs of their own.
“Here you were expecting ‘Yes we can,’” Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said during the festivities at a downtown hotel ballroom. “And instead what did you get? ‘Hasta la vista, baby.’”
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, “really set back the cause of hot governors.”
Then, with an eye on Pennsylvania’s chief executive, Granholm added: “You know where I’m coming from, Ed Rendell.”
The Democrat also took a shot at Schwarzenegger, asking which of his movies best prepared him to deal with the GOP: “True Lies” or “Kindergarten Cop”?
Much of the evening’s dark humor focused on the financial crisis.
Biden said that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in attendance for the event, is “always there when you need money, no questions asked.”
In a send-up of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an impersonator sang “Imperial Girl” to the tune of Madonna’s “Material Girl.”
The journalists-turned-entertainers, wearing silly costumes and accompanied by the United States Marine Band, also took a few final swipes at the previous administration.
A spoof of former Vice President Dick Cheney set to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” made fun of Cheney’s dominant role in George W. Bush’s White House. The Cheney mimic sang, “I pulled the strings, he said the words … he did it my way.”